Critical and Creative Thinking Of Law
Critical and Creative Thinking Of Law
Ever been stuck on that one level of Candy Crush and cannot seem to get past it? Then, to make things worse, you notice all the other players on levels 254, 386, or some other outrageous level, while you have been stuck on level 46 for months. How on earth are these people so talented and smart? The answer is simple. It is called critical and creative thinking. Critical and creative thinking are two methods used to formulate a genuine response to a situation, which the decision could affect the future. This article identifies how important critical and creative thinking is in the hands of a judge, the characteristics of both thinking processes, and how it leads to higher intellectual thinking and decision making. Experience in Critical and Creative Thinking
Every person is faced with a point in their life when they are left with no other means of a decision rather than to critically and creatively think about the situation. Many people use these types of thinking techniques on an everyday basis, while others may just live on the edge. According to James, N., Hughes, C., & Cappa, C (2010), “ Within the discipline of law, critical thinking is frequently emphasized but often defined with a lack of precision or not at all” (P. 287). James, Hughes, and Cappa identify the process of legal critical thinking, also known as CLT, below:
“ Type 1: The judgement of specific claims and arguments (including claims about the law and legal arguments) according to the criteria of accuracy and logic.
Type 2: The judgement of disciplinary knowledge (including legal doctrine, legal rules and legal processes) according to the criteria of consistency with theoretical and ideological standards (including jurisprudential and liberal standards).
Type 3: The judgement of norms, decisions and processes (including laws, legal decisions and legal processes) according to the criterion of equity of outcome.” (2010).
In The Mind of a Judge
When people do not weigh the positives and negatives of the actions they are about to perform, the consequences could result in a criminal record. Think of one person that has never broken the law. Any luck? Most likely, the answer is no. Let’s be honest; it is illegal to remove those ridiculous caution stickers that come on just about anything you purchase. On another note, not all people use their common sense on what will happen if you stick a fork in a toaster or drop a hair dryer in the bathtub full of water. The point is if one does not use critical thinking before they act; the consequences could be a lot bigger than anyone may wish for. The cost of something that seems as little as a speeding ticket could always lead to the unexpected. Imagine role-playing a judicial position for a day. At first, it appears to be a piece of cake. Here is this giant book of rules and if you break them, you will get whichever consequence the book says. It is not quite that simple. Decision process.
After the first few months on the job as the judge’s administrative assistant, a very difficult case came up that dealt with a past relationship between a man and a woman and a sexual assault case. The case left the judge and I puzzled and not sure on the verdict. He called for a recess, and we took a little while to discuss the nature of the situation. Not only did we use critical thinking, but also, creative thinking. We took out a piece of paper and step-by-step we went through the evidence to clarify how the story lines up. Then, we viewed the perspectives of both sides and the problems of possible scenarios. This was a very difficult situation because both of us knew the man that was being accused of the crime. After we finished laying out the steps of our critical thinking process, we then moved forward to our creative state of mind. How would the outcome of our decision affect others?...
References: James, N., Hughes, C., & Cappa, C. (2010). Conceptualising, developing and assessing critical thinking in law. Teaching In Higher Education, 15(3), 285-297.
NC State Univeristy. (2014). Critical and Creative Thinking Definitions. Adapted from John Dewey; Richard Paul and Lind Elder; Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and M.A. Rosenman and J. S. Gero. Retrieved from http://accreditation.ncsu.edu/critical-creative-thinking-definitions.
Rusbult, C. (December 2008). Critical Thinking Skills In Education and Life. The American Scientific Affiliation. Retrieved from http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/think/critical.htm#critical-thinking
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